Everything is Connected
.... and so is everyone
Everything is connected. So says Professor Corinna Hawkes, in a simple three word sentence - that pretty much explains everything -in the middle of a recent fabulous blog on her The Better Food Journey: actionable ideas towards a world eating well site. Corinna is a world leading academic on food policy and food systems and my colleague, together co-leading London's Child Obesity Taskforce.
She was writing about the need to connect different systems if we want to solve problems - focusing in on the interconnectivity of the food, economic, political, health, environmental and social systems. We need each system to contribute and work with the others to create sustainable solutions to pretty much any local, national or global issue. She focused on COVID-19 and its impact on diets, food hunger and obesity - but her rationale is equally relevant to climate change, access to education, racial equity, healthier diets or regulating capitalism. Indeed, virtually every injustice that is there to solve.
Where Corinna sees systems, I see people. I see the people with expertise of how a specific system is created and operates, of lived experience within that system, and of research and knowledge of that system. Such people must share their understandings with others to fully appreciate their connectedness, perspective and impact on each other. And of course, there is no reason the same individual people can’t be in different systems: we all live our lives in a world in which all systems connect with us every day. The trick, as I see it, is to create opportunity for people to see what is:
- a) possible (‘I believe’),
- b) probable (‘I care’); and
- c) powerful (‘I create impact’)
through the inevitability of system connectedness.* This slightly differing way of looking at framing issues provides such power to Corinna and my work in leading London’s Child Obesity Taskforce. For we have the same goals and sense of belief, care and need for impact - just different experiences and angles of how we see the world. The result, I humbly think, is much more effective and fuller formed thinking, ideas, action and leadership.
Corinna’s blog is really well set out and argued, and the interconnectivity graphic in it (below) has become a template for my starting point in looking for solutions in the various other issues I also concern myself with; in seeking a world richer in ideas, kindness and opportunity: be that through Toast Ale and climate change and food waste, RFK Human Rights UK and racial equity, Sesame Workshop and access to education, SMASH and healthier diets or BCorporation UK and resetting our economic system.
Everything is connected. So is everyone.
Corinna’s blog is definitely worth a read: it’s here: https://www.thebetterfoodjourney.com
* I have attempted to adapt Hahrie Han’s work at P3 Lab on effective social movements -specifically on action to improve voter participation - to my own work and impact. See: www.hahriehan.com for the real deal.